Just after the election of Abraham Lincoln in the fall of 1860, the bolts began to pop off of the Constitution when states such as South Carolina began to hold conventions to approve their leaving of the Union. These dramatic events were lulzed by sitting president James Buchanan who cemented his rank as America’s worst president.
Now, here were are. Trump, in real terms, is only one tweet away from being worse than Buchanan. All he has to do is suggest to the AR-15 welding MAGA base to take up arms against the “traitors” in the House and, well, there you go. I don’t know how likely that scenario is, but Trump is already mentally unstable and impeachment itself may be enough to finally cause him to snap.
Any civil disturbance that might happen because of such a tweet, Trump can turn around and use as an excuse to dissolve Blue State governments. I guess the point of this is — we really, really need to take current events seriously. Like, really seriously.
These are the highest political stakes to take place in living memory. Trump is prepared to push the Constitution to its breaking point simply to save his sorry ass on a personal level. If we don’t stand up for the Constitutional now, then, well, what was ever the point in the first place. Congress needs to start arresting any and everyone it needs as part of Trump’s due process.
Of course, there is a danger this would significantly ratched up the stakes of an already unprecedented crisis. I say let’s rock. The sooner we embrace the risks of this crisis, the sooner we can address it more effectively. The days of asymmetrical radicalization have to end. Trump has declared war on the Republic and maybe we need to declare war back.
This is a moment of grave risk and potential opportunity. If we’re able to topple the Trump regime completely, there’s a chance that a President Pelosi can serve as a caretaker president who will simply ensure a free and fair election in 2020. I just don’t trust Pence to do that.
And, sadly, we can’t allow a Nixon endgame for Trump. Former President Trump must be indicted, tried and convicted. He’s proven he’s untrustworthy. If he’s a free man, he’s going to meddle in the 2020 election to get Don Jr. or Ivanka elected one way or another.
It’s a horrific precedent to set — “lock her up” and all that — but I honestly don’t know what else to do.
I was watching MSNBC tonight and noticed something. They were going through the metrics that the Trump Administration was using to gauge its impeachment strategy.
While someone of them were demonstrably delusional, there was one that stuck out as extremely dangerous for House Trump. The Trump 2020 campaign is making an obscene amount of money fundraising off of the threat of impeachment.
Now, relative to them, that’s an example of how impeachment is a lulz and a win-win for them. They feel that no matter what, they’re going to endup with more money for the 2020 campaign and, by the way, fuck you, you globalist cuck.
This is all well and good, but if one of the primary metrics you use is how much money the base is willing shell out for the 2020 campaign, you’re setting yourself up for a potential political catastrophe. If you are so busy counting your cash like Scrooge McDuck and not weighing political factors, you are bound to make some pretty enormous mistakes.
If you add to this how unstable Trump is from day one and, well, there are no assurances. I have every reason to believe that Moscow Mitch will save the day and that once the Constitution’s back is broken that Trump’s authoritarian wet dreams will come true. But, absolute greed has a hell of a drug. There’s a chance House Trump will be oblivious to the gravity of this situation until it’s far, far, far too late.
But we’re way too early in the process to know one way or another. I guess if nothing else they can just live off their grift money for decades to come. They were going to do that, anyway.
I always find it amusing when I notice people from the Deep South checking out this blog. I can only assume they get off on my worst-case-scenario hot takes for the Republic. If you are, in fact, such a person, please fuck off.
The real tragedy of all of this is we’ve done it to ourselves. Hollywood loves alien invasions (V) or alien-robot-invasions (The Live,) but it turns out we have seen the enemy and they are us, as Pogo would say. It’s not aliens that have done this to us, it’s the systemic rot found in the Republican Party itself. As I’ve said before, the stakes could not be higher in this crisis.
The long touted Constitutional Crisis is finally here. The battle is joined. And a lot of fuckwits on the Right are spooging at the idea that MAGA is finally throwing down the gauntlet. They like the idea that Trump would go on the offensive, damn the consequences.
That is all well and good, but by doing so, Trump has opened up a Pandora’s Box. The thing about a crisis is things move so fast that “normal” people who have a vested interest in the slow and steady often have no idea how to handle the events going on around them. It’s the freaks and weirdos who live in a constant state of crisis who thrive. (That would be me. I’m talking about myself.)
But, the point is, there’s a chance that now that House Trump has crossed the Rubicon, that there will be an equal and opposite reaction on the part of House Democrats. They may find they have no recourse than to use their inherent contempt powers. Of course, putting Bill Barr or Mike Pompeo in the House jail is likely to make things even worse for everyone involved.
Then there’s the chance that Trump will dox the whistleblower on Twitter and “joke” that MAGA with their AR-15s should “teach him a lesson.” Republicans will of course be cool with this — they have no shame, after all — but the rest of the body politic might not take “he was just joking” defense as legitimate.
Really, there’s even a chance that Trump will finally get to be the best at being worse — he might tell his MAGA supporters to take up arms against Congress as events progress. He can tell them he’ll pardon them if they do it. Again, Republicans will lulz this even as it actually begins to happen.
I’d like to think the military might sit on its hands, no matter what, but who knows. Again, that’s why this is a crisis. I just can’t fathom any kind of endgame right now. Whatever happens, we’re in a new political era — maybe even epoch –in the nation’s history. The worse part of all of this is it’s likely to be just a brief respite. At best, we escape another MAGA president in 2020 should we manage to banish Trump politically. If it’s not Tom Cotton, it will be Kris Kobach…and the list goes on.
And, sure, I know there might be MAGA people who read all of this and don’t see as a reason to fight back, but as a reason to embrace the warm waters of tyranny. If you’re that person — please, for the love of God, fuck the fuck off.
Anyway. Now what. If we can’t banish Trump politically pretty soon all is, in fact, lost. The guy is a menace to the Republic. He needs to be removed from office, given due process in a court of law and, if convicted, put in prison for the rest of his life. If he’s a free man, he’s going to meddle in election after election until Don. Jr. or Ivanka becomes president.
So, apparently, Donald Trump political genius is beginning to settle on the idea that all of this is just a Deep State conspiracy to bring him down. Now, in a sense this is effective messaging, I also think it’s something of a stopgap.
I say this because Linda Tripp, Lucianne Goldberg and Matt Drudge weren’t exactly pillars of objectivity when they concocted their plot to bring down Bill Clinton. Bill Clinton did, in fact, do something wrong and Donald Trump, too, has in fact done something wrong. He has done several Big Boy Crimes, in fact.
But when you’re desperate and involved in a total war against your political opponents, you try to spin anything that might help you with the base. Apparently there is some sort of connection between the whistleblower and a major Democratic candidate. If Trump did, in fact, do Big Boy Crimes, I don’t see how that is really of any concern. I guess they can say that what Trump released doesn’t prove anything and, lulz, fuck you.
Trump knows he has Moscow Mitch as his firewall, no matter what. So, I guess he really is going to get away with this and go full Mad King on us. I see no reason to think that this is the end of American democracy as we know it. Trump, in an effort to save himself, will break the back of the Constitution and that will be that. I will find myself in a re-education camp soon enough, never to be seen again.
As of right now, my only hope is Trump will do what he always does, which is self-own. In this case, his self-own is likely to be in the guise of going completely bonkers after he is formally impeached. But that’s debatable. The stakes could not be higher and the good guys don’t always win.
Trump was greeted today by a woman blowing a whistle. If enough of us follow her lead, we can save the United States from a Russian-style “managed democracy.”
Whistles are an effective direction action form of protect because they’re non-violent, but annoying as hell. And, really, all you have to do is be anywhere near Moscow Mitch or Steven Miller or Dracula for it to be effective. And you could also just use your fingers in your mouth — or just your mouth — to whistle. That’s really hard to control. You don’t have to be in their face and risk arrest. Just blow anywhere near them and the idea of a whistleblower will be stuck in their mind.
If they can’t go anywhere, be in DC or a Congressional Town Hall meeting in their home district, without someone, somewhere blowing a whistle, that might at least, if nothing else, remind them of their failure to live up to their oath of office. And, you will have the satisfaction of making their live miserable.
Will this work? I don’t know. It does risk an escalation because MAGA may, in turn, just start murdering people with AR-15s. By as my Dad always says, no one ever got anywhere in this world without taking a risk.
It’s up to you if you feel having some agency in the fate of your nation is worth the risk or not.
The only hope I have at this point is the cold, hard fact that the American Military is simply not going to do what Trump is going to want them to do very soon — purge Congress of Democrats and dissolve Blue State governments.
But even then, things are not looking good for our democracy. Moscow Mitch is already fundraising off his ability to obstruct Trump’s impeachment trial in the Senate. So, that definitely seems to indicate Moscow Mitch is prepared to do everything in his power to save Trump and destroy traditional American liberal democracy.
The aspect of this that should give you pause for thought is Trump is, in himself, an existential threat to American democracy. I’ve been ranting about this for three years to anyone who would listen and, well, lulz? In other words, if Trump isn’t removed then the United States is little more than a Russian-style “managed democracy.”
Now, remember, the moment Trump sees this for what it is — an existential threat to his presidency — he’s likely to snap mentally. As I have written repeatedly, it’s possible that we won’t save ourselves in the end, Trump’s mental instability will. But given the amazing extent of the cancer Trump has caused in the executive, we have to get rid of Pence too.
While a President Nancy Pelosi might make liberals spooge their pants — in real terms it would only be fun for about 24 hours. Then we enter a dystopian political hellscape as everyone turns on her for different reasons — many of them Democrats!
Things have gotten both so dumb and so existential when it comes to the impeachment and removal of the tyrant Trump that I feel things need to be explicated in a very simple fashion.
If you want to understand what’s going on in America right now, look at this clip from Animal House.
Bluto is the American public. He’s finally been roused from his sleep. He’s mad as hell and wants to do something about Trump. But for the moment he’s not really being listened to. He’s call a “moron” by The Cook Report and many in the press who would trade access to power for patriotism. He might not have all the facts down, but he has passion and principle.
It’s not until people who have something to lose decide to act that anything actually happens. And, so, we are a historic precipice where things could go either way. We could get pushed off the cliff into tyranny, or we could save ourselves.
This is a deep dive into the Trump Era and the likelihood it may end sooner rather than later and in a manner that saves the American Republic. I’m generally not too sanguine at this point. Something truly out of the ordinary will have to happen for me to have any hope.
I just don’t see that happening. Darkness has fallen. The process of whereby the Constitution is effectively destroyed in well on its way. I won’t say it’s too late, but someone, somewhere is going to have to get outside their comfort zone.
Having said all that, if nobody is willing risk what they have to save the Union, then, well, we get what were deserve. Let’s go through how we got to this point to begin with. Trump has survived a lot of political disasters, so he has every reason to believe he can do it again.
Access Hollywood Tape
Trump initially did not take the tape seriously. It wasn’t until he finally realized it was an existential crisis that he did something out of the ordinary — he apologized. That helped turn the tide and he achieved his goal — survive long enough to keep the nomination and be on the ballet on election day.
Trump was facing a historically poor candidate. He also benefited greatly from the excitement of the “Trump Train.” This was when a lot — a lot — of people simply tuned out anything they didn’t like about Trump. Also, remember, the second Comey Letter that said the FBI was considering reopening the Hillary emails case. That, according to Nate Silver, was a crucial factor on Election Day itself. Add to this the various forms of mind fucking the Russians were doing and Trump’s “victory” had something of an assist
The Mueller Investigation
This was more than just the actual investigation itself. This was really Trump’s first two years when he had a Republican House. That really was the firebreak he needed to learn how to begin to use the levers of power. this gave Trump the ability to do some pretty heinous things without any pushback from Congress. Trump was and is criminally incompetent. In some respects, after it became obvious that the Republican House — and specifically Paul Ryan — were completely abdicating their Constitutional role for partisan gain, Trump had free reign to do whatever he wanted. As a result, a lot of liberals began to ascribe Mueller with near-demigod like qualities that he, alas, did not in fact possess.
The Mueller Report
Trump survived this because of Bill Barr’s excellent media messaging. He released the summary, it wasn’t sexxy enough and the air drained from the situation nearly entirely. He then released a redacted report and it was so long and didn’t have something sexxy like an indictemnt of Don Jr in it, so people shrugged and went back to enjoying the “humming economy.”
Having said all that, how could Trump escape this current situation? How will we know he isn’t?
From a strategic standpoint, while the Ukrainian situation as of now is going to leave a mark politically no matter what, the real risk is more Trump’s reaction to the situation. Trump’s slowly losing his mind from the stress and so the real risk is not that he’ll be convicted in the Senate on the merits of the case, but that by that point he will be a ranting insane person who has sent the nation a dick pic or tweeted out the n-word to Obama.
I say this because, remember, all Trump has to do is survive a Senate vote. That’s it. That’s all he has to do. It doesn’t matter what he has to do to get there. Once he’s in the clear, he can go full tyrant. He fucks with the 2020 election in a pretty brazen manner. Nothing will be off the table. He will proactively work with the Russians. He will dox or bribe individual Electors post-election should he somehow magically lose despite cheating.
If that’s the only metric you have, then, again, I would worry about about Trump going bonkers than the actual case against him. Remember, Rudy, Barr and Pompeo are now actively looking for evidence that would subvert the Mueller report’s origins so Trump has the political cover to pardon Manafort and maybe Flynn. The judicious release of their “findings” would likely change the political narrative long enough for the wind to leave the impeachment drive. That no one has resigned or really gotten in all that much trouble indicates that the Trump Administration at last, finally doesn’t give a shit about anything but power. They have such little shame that they are completely unmoored from any facade of caring about the democratic conventions of liberal democracy.
Things have gotten so bad for a number of reasons. One is Trump’s twitter feed. I suspect a big calculous in the minds of most of Trump’s sycophants is they simply don’t want to cross him and end up on the wrong side of a tweet. That Pompeo — who has long-term political dreams — would admit that “I was on the call” when it is provable that he lied on national TV about this matter shows you what I’m talking about. In normal times, that would end his career. But for the time, he’s faced no political consequences. So, he’s assuming Trump will survive and, too, shall he. The other issue is the MAGA base is so absolute in their support of Trump that a lot of otherwise “normal” people are not acting in the best interests of the United States. Any discernible patriotism or principle they might have previously be assumed to have is not applicable.
The only minor hint of an existential threat to Trump right now is the complete inability of the Republicans to come up with any form of effective, fact based messaging. They’re doing a piss-poor job right now. It’s getting so bad that many of them are hanging all their hopes on finding out who Orange Crush is and then kavanaughing him. They will make narrative about any personal foibles he might have, not the facts of the case. That they might get the poor guy murdered doesn’t really seem to bother them right now.
Another small, but significant risk for Trump and the Republicans is in their effort to intimidate their opposition and whip up the base, they could very well radicalize a huge swath of the otherwise moderate middle. Americans find the term “radical” very ominous. Radicalism is simply not in their political worldview. But the conditions are there for something pretty astonishing to happen. It’s unlikely, but the case could be made that all the talk of “coup” and “treason” could light a fire under a lot of people who are already apoplectic over Trump’s policies in general. Trump has lost women and minorities. He’s running the country almost exclusively for the interests of angry racist misogynistic men. That’s why he and Republicans can come off as completely bonkers to the average person who didn’t vote for him — their signaling to the base in a code that they understand.
So there’s a risk that we might see the rise — briefly — of a radical center. I would call it a Radical Resistance, but that’s just me. If a Radical Resistance did emerge, then that would be one metric that might indicate Trump wasn’t going to survive. Indications that this is happening would be things like Jon Stewart joining Twitter and getting overtly political. Bush and Obama releasing a joint statement condemning Trump’s behavior. If stuff like that started to happen, that would be the “system” finally beginning to work in a sense. The bolts of society would begin to pop off and people would realize we were, in fact, finally in the Constitutional crisis we’ve all been talking about for about three years.
Things continue to be very fluid, so everything could change in a heartbeat. If this turns out to be some enormous mindfuck to purge the Federal government then, well, that’s that. It’s over. The end. If it’s not, then Trump faces the biggest risk to his political career — and maybe even his freedom of movement — that he’s ever faced. He’s already done significant political damage to himself by freaking out over the prospect of impeachment. He can always cheat himself to “victory” once he survives a Senate vote, but he has to get to that point first.
There are some very interesting things going on. I simply have no way of really understanding their context or potential consequences.
It seems as though the current Big Lie is that Schiff somehow was in cahoots Orange Crush. This is demonstrably inaccurate, at least from what I can tell right now. This is also mixed in with the suggestion that Orange Crush has some sort of nefarious “agenda.” While this is likely to be extremely effective with the mouth breathing MAGA base, it works solely to “own the moment” on Twitter and deflect from the fact that White House, itself, released documentation confirming what was in the complaint.
Also, not one, but TWO major presidential scandals were caused by people who weren’t exactly without an agenda. Mark Felt was Deep Throat because he was mad he got passed over to head the FBI. Linda Tripp and Lucianne Goldberg literally conspired with Matt Drudge to setup Bill Clinton and he still got impeached.
Another thing why is Trump so obsessed with being provided the cover needed to pardon Paul Manafort? And maybe even Mike Flynn. That House Trump continue to look for an excuse to pardon Manafort all in broad daylight as Washington burns to the ground is definitely a novel approach to this situation. I guess they both have no shame and believe that if they “prove” Manafort is “innocent” then all the “light treason” Trump has admitted to the last few days will magically go away. In a sense, I guess, they’re not far off. Either they successfully change the narrative altogether or the base is content with what they report to such an extent that it’s officially impossible to convict Trump in the Senate even if he completely loses all touch with reality.
Why clearing Manafort would be such an absolute obsession with Trump is very puzzling. Manafort is one of several direct links to Putin that might have some sort of leverage over Trump. It’s definitely very, very suspicious that House Trump would be willing to risk everything to give a political cover to pardoning Manafort. What gives? What’s going on?
To that extent, I just don’t see House Trump taking all this as an existential threat. In a sense, they’re using the, “Ok, then fucking convict me” approach to impeachment without any bravado or strategic messaging. Their actions simply don’t indicate that they are taking any of this seriously, probably because they know as long as they can keep Trump in office, they’re fine. Once Trump gets ANOTHER political pardon, he can pardon them, Manafort and Flynn for their crimes and they can move on. Trump actively and brazenly corrupts the 2020 election and the Thousand Year Trump becomes a reality.
Really, the only potential downside to this strategy is, again Donald J. Trump. Trump’s not handling impeachment very well, to say the least, and if he finally tweets out a dick pick or the n-word to Obama, then, well, maybe they have a lot bigger problem than they ever imagined.
Right now, I’m just not very sanguine for our prospects. The corruption and rot is simply too extensive. Someone will screw up. Or the “bad optics” of a major event will end the impeachment process. Or Barr will finally release his bullshit report and the MAGA base will finally have a response to what’s going on that lets them go to sleep at night. .
For America NOT to slide into a Russian-style “managed democracy” people with a vested interest in staying out of the frey will have to risk everything on principle. If that happens, then you’ll know things really are different for Trump. The system would be, at last, to work. Courage is the willingness to risk life and limb for your “scared honor.” You can’t be craven. You can use any type of traditional metric other than you have a soul and are a patriot. That type of thinking has been completely absent in the age of Trump and I have no reason to believe that will change. Jon Stewart — the one person who could be a leader in the move to end the Trump nightmare — has been completely silent. David Letterman giving a major address on a late night show would also help the push to punish Trump in a big way. Both Stewart and Letterman are great orators and might crystallize what a lot of people are feeling in a cogent manner.
So, as I’ve said before, right now, the fate of the nation rests on Trump going crazing and being a self-own artist. The stakes could not be any greater. This is the biggest political crisis in the nation’s history since the days immediately following the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860.
What happens next is anyone’s guess. I recommend you read the speeches of Lincoln and Churchill. Look into your soul and see how much you love the liberal democracy that is your birthright as an American. Are you really prepared to take the political risks necessary to keep it?
Shelton Bumgarner is writing his first novel. He encourages you to contact him at migukin (at) gmail (dot) com if you’re not insane. But if you do want to hate on him, it proves he’s poppin.